Robert Marks sentenced to life without parole for 2016 murder of pregnant teacher

Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 1:38 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 10, 2022 at 1:27 PM CST

UPDATE: Robert Marks has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2016 murder of Lyntell Washington.

Marks was senteced on Feb. 10. Washington was a school teacher who was seven months pregnant at the time of her death.

Robert Marks found guilty on all charges; faces mandatory life sentence for murder of teacher in 2016

After an East Baton Rouge Parish jury convened for just 35 minutes, Marks, a former assistant principal at a middle school in Baton Rouge, was convicted of several charges including second-degree murder on Dec. 17, 2021.

Robert Marks found guilty on all charges; faces mandatory life sentence for murder of teacher in 2016

He was convicted of the following charges:

Second-degree murder.

Second-degree kidnapping.

First-degree feticide.

Aggravated kidnapping of a child.

Obstruction of justice.

Carjacking.

Four counts of using a firearm while in commission violent act.

Marks was convicted in 35 minutes.

PLAQUEMINE, La. (WAFB) - The lead detective with the Baton Rouge Police Department in the investigation of the 2016 murder of a pregnant school teacher took the stand on the third day of the trial of the man accused of killing her.

Marks, a former assistant principal at a Baton Rouge middle school, is accused of killing Lyntell Washington, 40, a pregnant teacher. Washington was found shot to death in Iberville Parish. She was seven months pregnant at the time of her death.

At times, testimony was gruesome. Pictures of the crime scene showed Washington’s body, which was largely skeletal remains. District Attorney Tony Clayton also showed pictures of the skeletal remains of Washington’s unborn child. When those images were shown several members of the jury were visually disgusted, covering their mouths.

At one point, the detective was asked by Clayton if anyone other than Marks could have killed Washington. The detective said no. Again, cell phone data is playing a large role in this case. According to testimony, Marks’ phone pinged off the same cell towers as Washington’s. There was testimony that Marks’ phone also pinged off the tower closest to where Washington’s body was found.

RELATED: Daughter and twin sister of slain teacher take stand as murder trial begins for former school administrator

Marks’ defense attorney, Lionel Lon Burns, has argued that’s all circumstantial and there is no evidence that Marks actually had his phone at the time. Burns has pressed the detective about why he didn’t interview the father of Washington’s 3-year-old daughter. Burns said after the proceedings that he is trying to show the jury there could have been another person who pulled the trigger, killing Washington.

The State wrapped its case against Marks today with testimony from East Baton Rouge Coroner, Dr. Beau Clark. Clark said Washington died from a gunshot wound to the head. He also told the jury that her unborn child was at the gestational age where it would have survived outside of the womb, implying if medical attention would have been administered quickly enough, the child might still be alive today.

Clayton will officially wrap up the State’s case against Marks Friday morning as it has no more witnesses to call. Burns will present the defense Friday, it is unclear if Marks will take the stand to testify in his own defense. Depending on how long Burn’s defense is, and the length of closing arguments, a verdict could be delivered Friday afternoon.

Marks is facing charges of second-degree murder, first-degree feticide, aggravated kidnapping, second-degree kidnapping, illegal use of a weapon (4 counts), and obstruction.

The case is now in the jury’s hands.

The jury must be unanimous for Marks to be convicted of murder.

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